In today’s NYTimes, U.S. Rejects Criticism on Awarding of Iraq Contracts:
An American official has strongly rejected European complaints that the United States was unfairly awarding contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq to American companies. The overriding United States objective, he said today, was to provide the quickest possible relief to the Iraqi people.
Hmmm, the way to provide the “quickest possible relief to the Iraqi people” is to stop bombing them. We’re not willing to stop bombing; hence, the stated objective cannot be true.
Further, the situation in which one country completely controls both destruction and reconstruction is grossly unethical; it displays a massive conflict of interest. Such a situation sets up opportunity for creating an infinite cash flow: bomb, award contract, bomb, award contract …
Given our sluggish U.S. economy and our looming, mounting, darn near incalculable U.S. national debt, it’s unwise to think future politicians will be any more able to resist this bottomless cup o’ money than current politicians are. Reconstruction contracts really do need to be overseen by an international body, governed by international law.
Wait, that won’t work — we don’t heed international law.
We’re shameless. And we brag about it. God help us.
[via Arms and the Man]
2003-03-31 update: What do you know?—
BBC News: Halliburton out of Iraq rebuild.
2003-04-11 update: Cheney’s hand back in cookie jar?—
New York Times: Details given on contract Halliburton was awarded.
The Pentagon contract given without competition to a Halliburton subsidiary to fight oil well fires in Iraq is worth as much as $7 billion over two years, according to a letter from the Army Corps of Engineers that was released today.
The contract also allows Kellogg Brown & Root, the Halliburton subsidiary, to earn as much as 7 percent profit. That could amount to $490 million.